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The Complete Single Mother Paperback – March 1, 2000

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

At last, a comprehensive and practical guide for the single parent, filled with expert information and pragmatic advice. Today's world is rapidly changing -- and so is the family. Focusing on how to raise good kids in stressful times, this book offers solutions for tough problems: helping your children through your divorce, building their self-esteem, finding male role models, and responding to questions like, "Where's Daddy?" The Complete Single Mother explains what nearly eleven million single mothers need to know to meet the challenges of daily life with dignity, wisdom, courage, and a dash of good humor. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The authors are single mothers whose state was unexpectedly thrust upon them by departing partners. Engber, founder of the National Organization of Single Mothers, is a contributing editor to Working Mother; Klungness, a psychologist, specializes in issues of single mothers. Together they have produced a frank and unabashedly feminist guide, the tone of which reflects the popular What to Expect series. No topic is off limits: there are tips on how not to fall to pieces when the baby starts saying "da-da" and even what to do when teenagers start worrying that mom will be old maid. Finances are approached in the chapter "Money Matters"; custody sharing, dealing with former in-laws and dating are considered in the section "Relating Joyfully to Others," which also includes the chapter "The Ex from Hell." There is an entire and encouraging chapter on raising sons. Breezy but always down-to-earth, this guide provides intelligent and frequently entertaining reading and offers much to mothers without-and with-partners.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation; 2nd edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580623026
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580623025
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,830,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Christina Sterman on September 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Remember, these reviews are personal opinions and your mileage may vary!

The title of the book is right on. It really is the *complete* book for single mothers. Too complete for me. There's a whole chapter on "becoming a single mother through divorce" which will be fine for the seperated/newly divorced mother, but not for me. For you, it has advice on preparing, selecting an attorney, mediation, what to tell people and even having sex with the soon to be ex!

Then there are becoming a mother outside of marriage, choosing motherhood through insemination, and choosing adoption. Again with the *completeness*, but so not what I need at all. Great chapters for those of you choosing those options, lots of information. Just not for me. A nice large chapter on the widowed mother, as well. All of these chapters give great information on how to get started researching, how to talk to the kids about these specific situations, how to get help, etc.

Part 2 has chapters on mothers-to-be, naming the baby and babyproofing the house, working moms and postpartum depression. Again with the good info, again with the "not what *I* need" thing. Also in this part are how to improve your self-esteem, finding resources, how to deal with finances, and ideas for who to move in with/where to move if you and child are low on cash and need help.

Part 3 covers child care, ages and stages, schools and dealing with teachers, and very few pages about teenagers and nothing on tweens at all.

It goes on to dealing with the "where's daddy" questions, which is a very good chapter. Should you lie?
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Excellent source of practical information on meeting the emotional, psychological, financial, social and physical challenges of single motherhood. Appendices contain an expansive list of organizational resources and further reading for single mothers.
Warning: The book starts out slowly with a political defense of single motherhood. The "cheerleading" tone of this section of the book sometimes takes on an aspect of blaming men for the plight of the single mother. Supportive and reassuring perhaps, but not conducive to taking responsibility for one's own actions in this reader's humble opinion. The author even goes so far as to promote the idea of voluntary single motherhood through artificial insemination if "Mr. Right" doesn't happen to come along. Some may find this liberalism to be annoying.
Despite these minor flaws, the 1st half of the book contains a wealth of useful information and the book really takes off in the second half (presumbaly reflecting the division of labor between the authors). Here the everyday psychological, moral and practical dilemmas of single motherhhod are thoroughly vetted. Questions regarding everything from stress management to the inevitable conflicts of dating and parenting, raising boys and girls and issues of coparenting and custody are answered with compassion, wisdom and common sense in any easy to read question and answer format.
This book answers many questions that you may not even have thought of yet. Why not get a jump on them?
If you have a best friend who happens to be a child psychologist with a specialty and doesn't mind spending endless hours answering you questions, you can get by without this book. Otherwise it is a must have!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By mother of 7 month old son on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I was pregnant I read a lot of books for single mothers and learned so many out there are for divorced mothers where the father is largely in the picture.
This is the best book I found for single, never-married mothers where the father does not play a large role, if any. There is a chapter for divorced mothers, adoption, donor insemination, and widowed mothers. And many other chapters for all single mothers.
There is a wonderful chapter to help explain where their father is. Which I am sure will come in handy in a few years when my son wants to know why his father is not around.
I have loaned this book out to other single mothers and recommend it to all single mothers.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Twrites2 on October 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
As I approached single parent status a little more than a year ago, weary from the weight of the child I carried inside, I had a difficult time finding a book which addressed my concerns and needs. How would I deal with my ex? How would I make ends meet? This book offered more than black and white solutions. It offered the encouragement that I so desperately needed. In addition, I loved the fact that this was the ONLY book I have found to date on single parenting which addresses the unique needs of those of us who have never been married and are committing to single parenting from pregnancy on. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a resource.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Complete Single Mother sits on my nightstand and I use it as a bible. I recommend it to any single Mom I meet. I refer to it for help in raising my two sons, in dealing with their father, and in any other situation I face as a single Mom. I truly appreciate the wealth of information it contains. Andrea Engber writes from her experience and does a tremendous job! This book is certainly a must for any single Mom!
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